The testing is only going to get more challenging from
here on out. This test was pretty straightforward, but future tests will get more complicated to further prove out
the system. The next step for the LCS platform will be to
continue the qualification program, which is set to begin
sometime next year, and that will involve some more
Rick McDonnell, who is Raytheon’s Close-In Weapons
director, said the company is working with the Navy to put
SeaRAM not only on Independence-class LCSs, but also
the Freedom-class ships. That will not happen until LCS
17, as some work will need to be done to fit it onto the
entirely different platform, but the decision already has
been made to include SeaRAM on both classes.
“It’s a different platform, so there are accommoda-
tions to deck structure, and the combat system is
slightly different,” McDonnell said. “There will have to
be some changes to the interface.”
The Navy has not confirmed whether all older
Freedom-class LCSs will be retrofitted with the
SeaRAM capability, but since the requirement is for 24
of 32 ships to have it, it would seem that would likely
be the case, Lester said.
It actually was not until late last year that the Navy
opted to switch the Freedom class to the SeaRAM system. And the LCS will not be the only ship to get it. The
Navy is pushing to put SeaRAM on the DDG 51 Arleigh
“The Navy made that decision to go on some DDGs
early this year,” McDonnell said. “That’s a case where
they put us on contract fairly quickly. We’re actually
packing and shipping the first SeaRAM in our Louis-
ville [Ky.] facility and will have it delivered by the end
of this year.”
As to whether other ship classes could get it, the
Navy is looking at the capability internally, but not
much more can be said beyond that, McDonnell said.
The Navy is able to do that with a new capability like
SeaRAM because it is based primarily on the existing
Phalanx weapon system. About 80 percent of SeaRAM
is common to Phalanx, making it able to slot in fairly
easily on ships that already host Phalanx.
“Anybody that’s got a Phalanx can put a SeaRAM on
there,” McDonnell said. “It has the same interface, the
same radar, the same control systems.”
As far as a fielding date, that is tied to when the LCSs
that they are slated to go on become available, rather than
on the SeaRAM platform itself. However, the expectation
is that SeaRAM will at least achieve initial operational
capability aboard destroyers late next year with an instal-
lation on USS Porter, based in Rota, Spain, Lester said.
The international market could be fairly robust for
the platform, and Japan already is using it on its two
large helicopter ships. Each ship has two SeaRAMs and
two CIWSs. Japan also expects to put a SeaRAM on all
new classes of capital ships.
Beyond that, there are inquiries from three other
countries, which McDonnell declined to name. Now
that SeaRAM is entering service soon with the U.S.
Navy, interest should ramp up, he said.
But for now, the focus is on getting the SeaRAM out
there. In 2016, Raytheon will be focused on continuing
the testing and finishing the migration to DDG 51s, as
well as for even-numbered LCSs. ;
15 WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG SEAPOWER / DECEMBER 2015
The SeaRAM Anti-ship Missile Defense System is an evolution of the Phalanx Block 1B Close-In Weapon System and the
Rolling Airframe Missile. When paired with other sensors, the system’s blend of radar, fire control and missiles will provide
“an effective and affordable air warfare self-defense capability for small surface combatants,” according to the Navy.